Progress in Kansas

 October in        

by W. E. Blackburn,
late editor of the Herington Sun

     THE very air is invigorant; fragrant from the harvest, spiced with wood smoke, bracing from the first frosts, scintillant with the glorious sunshine that fills the shortening autumn days with splendor and makes thin and luminous the attending shadows. "Bob White" shrills of "more wet, more wet," his Quakerish little wife, with half-grown brood, timely speeds across the roadway into the ripening corn, or with musical "wir-r-r" rises, to dive into the distant sea of undulating brown.

     Prairie larks trill and carol on the rusty wire, or perched on the infrequent posts that hold the cattle from the ripened field. Hawks fly low; frightened sparrows flutter into trees and hedge row; rabbits scurry from bare pastures to grassy covert, or sit erect and watch with distended eye, quivering nostril and rigid ear, the impending danger.

     The murmur of voices, the morning cock crow, the lowing of cattle are as distant music, carried softly to the ear by the voluptuous air.

     Corn shocks dot the field -- tents of an army that stands nearby in whispering ranks. A multitude of peace and plenty; no arms; no equipment, but a haversack of golden grain on hip or shoulder. Save a weary few, they stand expectant, awaiting to deliver their garnered wealth, be mustered out and with empty pockets, light hearts and fluttering banners retrace their steps via the mouldering way to the place when they come, and rest. In rusty velvet fields, big dusty haystacks stand in herds or gather in about the barn, shouldering one another in ponderous good humor.

     From the inspiration of the caressing air, the peaceful, plenteous view, satisfied achievements of a summer's work, of goodly store from Nature's plenty, we look with brightened eye, bounding blood and defiant head, to the north, undaunted by the icy breath that tells of coming snow.

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